Who is Bhushavali?
Listen in their own words…
“I'm Bhushavali, a textile designer by profession and a traveler by passion. I'm the happiest when I'm on the road (or rail). History amazes me; the skills that our ancestors had and the marvels they created with limited resources fascinates me when I visit the historic & pre-historic sites. Also the selective amnesia (or the very fact that history is written by winners) intrigues me and I'm interested in exploring the lesser-known, forgotten historical sites too!”
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
I'm a history enthusiast and a mother of a pre-schooler. So my blog is a mix of exactly these 2 things – my visit to historic/heritage sites either by myself or with my daughter and the places that are exclusively or primarily meant for kids (playgrounds, farms, kids activities etc). I started blogging about 10 years ago and its called My Travelogue by Bhushavali (https://travel.bhushavali.com/). I believe in slow travel and I'm in no hurry to check off all the countries or states, because it is neither economical nor good for the earth. I've been to 20 countries so far. I've been to 75+ UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is my happy place. My latest passion, currently, is war history, I'm learning more and more and writing all about the role of Indians in those, thanks to the atrocities of British colonization. The more I learn, the more I get intrigued, the more I explore and the more I blog.
Describe how you first get into blogging?
I got into Blogging so long ago when it was more of a personal space than an informative place. I was living away from my family for the first time and it was the era when Whatsapp and Instagram didn't exist. I wanted to share the photos & experiences of my weekend trips with my family & friends in an easier way and my blog came into being. It was then, a very personal style of writing, as if I was writing an email to my family about what I did! It would literally say somethings like ‘I stopped an auto. He asked 50 Rupees…'! Haha… Things have changed tremendously since then!
How would you describe your blogging style?
Even though things have changed tremendously in my style of writing & photography, my style of blogging is still a personal account of the places I visit on these short trips & long weekends. I try to write in detail about my first-hand experience so anyone who's reading and visiting can be prepared.
What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
Social media. Mostly Facebook for me. People who are in the similar walks of life reach out to me easily and we communicate easily too.
What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to their readers?
Personal experience and ground-zero reality. For eg., sometimes what might appear as a 2 minute walk on Google Maps might turn out to be a 20 mins walk in reality with the lack of roads; sometimes some small towns might have a great local public transport which may not show up on Google; an Indian-restaurant with great reviews in a foreign country might be only mildly spicy to suit the local customers; an infamous/notorious country/town might be, in reality, a pretty safe & nice place… These are the little things, the ground-zero reality.
How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I try to keep a calendar for the blog articles. I wouldn't say I follow it efficiently. I just try my best!
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I'm always trying to get myself to stick to the calendar schedule. Let's see, maybe it might happen by next year.
Tell me about your proudest achievement?
Working with Wallonia Tourism Board. The project was to explore Southern Belgium car-free; so it was entirely on train, buses, bikes and hikes. I saw such incredibly beautiful region in a very slow pace (over several weekends for a few months). My daughter enjoyed every bit of it. We did such unusual activities like Railbiking and Indoor skydiving; we walked through tiny villages & rode on horse-carts; enjoyed the first snow of the season and much more…
Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
My daughter! Being a travel blogger was much, much easier before my daughter was born; I used to just pack a bag and go. Now, things are different, more challenging and more rewarding. Seeing everything through her eyes is just a very beautiful, new experience. Everything is new for her and things that I used to take for granted now I see through her eyes and that amazes me!
What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
My day job as a designer.
What do you do in your spare time?
Being a parent of a pre-schooler, I don't have much of spare time! Haha.
Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
I'm hoping to move back to India and take my daughter to each and every state & UT and of course blog about it all!
What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
The ongoing struggle in trying to find a balance between parenting, day job, traveling, writing the blog, social media etc.
Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
Srinidhi – He's one of the longest-running bloggers I know and still going strong, down-to-earth personality. https://www.enidhi.net/
Veludharan & Krishnakumar – They've written so extensively about many ancient temples of Southern India that are normally not written about. https://veludharan.blogspot.com/, https://indiancolumbus.blogspot.com/
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
I get the motivation from my readers. I get constant enquiries from people wanting to visit the places that I had been to & written about; appreciations on the sensitive pieces I've written; and more. My readers keep me going.
Can you tell me about a few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
Brands & agencies reach out to me. It did take some time and didn't happen overnight.
What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Social Media. I try to be more active on Social media and keep updating there, but it takes it's own sweet time and I don't seem to have enough time to dedicate everyday for social media!
What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
The blurring of the line between whether I'm traveling for blogging or am I blogging because of traveling!
Did you have any professional help or did you create the blog yourself?
Did it all by myself!
How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
I try to publish new articles atleast once every 2 weeks. Communicating with followers happens almost everyday via messages & comments.
How much time do you spend blogging?
That's a difficult question to answer! Well, traveling and exploring new places is my way of life. So that's something I try to do a few times every week. That said, sitting on my laptop to write articles is more like once a week.
What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
I'm still learning that!
Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
I have always encouraged people to blog. A few did start too. But the thing about blogging is perseverance and dedication. If you find a calling for it, you would do it…
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is a semi-profession and semi-hobby! Haha.
A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
It is not at all easy. The market is super saturated. It is possible, but not easy; so you need to get out of the mindset that it's going to rain sponsors the moment you start blogging. If you're able to put in a lot of time, effort and perseverance, it is possible.